That day
Mundane phrases that may be used to refer to the day of the crackdown including “那天” (that day), “特殊的日子” (special day), “今天” (today) and “那年” (that year) were blocked.
Photo: Chinese students carry a sign that reads, "Give me democracy or give me death," during a demonstration in Tiananmen Square May 14, 1989.
Credit: Dominic Dudouble/Reuters
One of the most creative alternative phrases produced by Chinese Internet users to circumvent the censorship is “占占点” or “占点占”. The phrase itself has no meaning but graphically illustrates the scenario of tanks (占占) crushing protesters (灬). It was detected and blocked as well.
Photo: A man stands in front of a convoy of tanks in the Avenue of Eternal Peace in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in this June 5, 1989 file photo.
Credit: Arthur Tsang/Reuters
Various combinations of numbers referring to the day of June 4 and year 1989 were blocked such as “64”, “六四” (64) , “玖捌” (89) and “玖捌” (98). Even formulas that equal to 64 were not spared including “8x8”, “八的平方” (square of 8), “65-1” and “5月35日”(May 35 which translates to June 4).
Photo: Hundreds of thousands of people fill Tiananmen Square on May 17, 1989 in front of the Monument to People's Heroes and Mao's mausoleum.
Credit: Ed Nachtrieb/Reuters
Phrases related to the annual candlelight vigil at Victoria Park, Hong Kong to commemorate the protest's anniversary were disallowed. Number of the anniversary like “二十五年” (25 years); the words "周年" (anniversary), “致敬” (pay respect), “悼念” (mourn) and places like “维园” (Victoria Park) and “广场” (public square, referring to Victoria Park) were all blocked.
Photo: Tens of thousands of people take part in a candlelight vigil at Hong Kong's Victoria Park June 4, 2014, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen protest.
Credit: Bobby Yip/Reuters
Sometimes general phrases or words were deemed sensitive when Chinese censors found out they have been used to discuss unwanted incidents. Examples include “蜡烛” (candle), “火” (fire), “推特” (Twitter) and “动” (move).
Photo: A participant looks on as she and others mourn those who killed during the Tiananmen Square protest, during a candlelight vigil at Hong Kong's Victoria Park June 4, 2014.
Credit: Bobby Yip/Reuters
Stock market
Chinese censors are extremely responsive to current issues. In 2012, the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Composite Index fell exactly 64.89 points on June 4, the 23rd anniversary of the protest. The authority soon blocked phrases including “上证” (Shanghai Composite), “指数” (index), “股市” (stock market) and “下跌” (fall).
Photo: Tens of thousands of people take part in a candlelight vigil at Hong Kong's Victoria Park June 4, 2014, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest.
Credit: Bobby Yip/Reuters
Phrase Translation First censored date Category
反官倒 oppose official profiteering 2013-06-03 Action
youxing demonstration 2013-05-25 Action
上街 take to the streets 2012-06-04 Action
move 2012-06-04 Action
宣言 declaration 2012-06-04 Action
movement 2012-06-04 Action
绝食书 Hunger Strike Declaration 2012-03-26 Action
学潮 student strike 2011-06-04 Action
示威 demonstrate 2011-06-04 Action
罢课潮 wave of student strikes 2011-06-04 Action
暴动 insurrection 2011-04-16 Action
民运 democracy movement 2011-04-16 Action
游行 march 2011-04-16 Action
26years 26years 2015-06-04 Anniversary
26周年 26th Anniversary 2015-06-04 Anniversary
26年 26 years 2015-06-04 Anniversary
二十六周年 twenty-sixth Anniversary 2015-06-04 Anniversary
二十六年 twenty-six years 2015-06-04 Anniversary
廿五周年 twenty-fifth Anniversary 2014-06-04 Anniversary
25years 25years 2014-05-27 Anniversary
25年 25 years 2014-05-27 Anniversary
二十五年 twenty-five years 2014-05-27 Anniversary
25周年 25th Anniversary 2014-05-22 Anniversary
25周年纪念 25th anniversary Commemoration 2014-04-28 Anniversary
Anniversary Anniversary 2013-06-04 Anniversary
24年 24 years 2013-06-03 Anniversary
二十四 twenty-four 2013-06-03 Anniversary
二十四周年 twenty-fourth Anniversary 2013-05-28 Anniversary
24周年 24th Anniversary 2013-04-16 Anniversary
二十三 twenty-three 2012-06-04 Anniversary
周年 Anniversary 2012-06-04 Anniversary
廿三 twenty-three 2012-06-04 Anniversary
22周年 22nd Anniversary 2011-06-04 Anniversary
十二个春秋 twenty springs and autumns 2011-04-16 Anniversary
历史的伤口 History's Wound 2011-10-05 Art
天安门情人 Tiananmen Lovers 2011-04-16 Art
缅怀 honor the memory of 2015-06-04 Commemoration
致敬 pay respects 2014-06-04 Commemoration
祭奠 memorial ceremony 2013-06-04 Commemoration
晚会 evening Event 2012-06-04 Commemoration
勿忘 never forget 2012-06-04 Commemoration
悼念 mourn 2012-06-04 Commemoration
毋忘 never forget 2012-06-04 Commemoration
ceremony 2012-06-04 Commemoration
纪念 commemorate 2012-06-04 Commemoration
追思 recall 2012-06-04 Commemoration
默哀 silent tribute 2012-06-04 Commemoration
平反 redress 2011-06-04 Commemoration
426+四二六社论 426 + four two six editorial 2016-05-19 Date
四二六社论 four two six editorial 2012-03-26 Date
June 4 June 4 2016-04-14 Date
屠杀+四 massacre + four 2016-02-17 Date
535 May 35 2015-08-06 Date
6+si 6+si 2015-06-04 Date
631日 631 day 2015-06-04 Date
6four 6four 2015-06-04 Date
8jiu 8jiu 2015-06-04 Date
liu4 liu4 2015-06-04 Date
six4 six4 2015-06-04 Date
陆+肆 six + four 2015-06-04 Date
6+4 6+4 2014-06-04 Date
8的平方 square of 8 2014-06-04 Date
春夏之交 when spring becomes summer 2014-05-27 Date
这一天 this day 2014-05-27 Date
五月三十五 May Thirty-five 2014-05-27 Date
四+开枪 four+open fire 2014-05-22 Date
64+屠杀 64+massacre 2014-05-22 Date
64+开枪 64+open fire 2014-05-22 Date
89 89 2013-06-04 Date
64+24 64+24 2013-06-04 Date
viiv viiv 2013-06-04 Date
八的平方 square of eight 2013-06-04 Date
己巳月+乙未日 Jisi month+Yiwei day 2013-06-04 Date
hk64 hk64 (Hong Kong 64) 2013-06-04 Date
特殊的日子 special day 2013-06-03 Date
那天 that day 2013-06-03 Date
35 35 2013-06-03 Date
63+1 63+1 2013-06-03 Date
65-1 65-1 2013-06-03 Date
6四 6 four 2013-06-03 Date
Jun+4th Jun+4th 2013-06-03 Date
june june 2013-06-03 Date
six+four six+four 2013-06-03 Date
six四 six four 2013-06-03 Date
八八 eight eight 2013-06-03 Date
六+四 six+four 2013-06-03 Date
六4 six 4 2013-06-03 Date
陆四 six four 2013-06-03 Date
明天 tomorrow 2012-06-04 Date
昨天 yesterday 2012-06-04 Date
那年 that year 2012-06-04 Date
今天 today 2012-06-04 Date
4 4 2012-06-04 Date
6 6 2012-06-04 Date
8 8 2012-06-04 Date
9 9 2012-06-04 Date
23 23 2012-06-04 Date
35 35 2012-06-04 Date
eight eight 2012-06-04 Date
four four 2012-06-04 Date
nine nine 2012-06-04 Date
six six 2012-06-04 Date
三十五 thirty-five 2012-06-04 Date
nine 2012-06-04 Date
eight 2012-06-04 Date
six 2012-06-04 Date
four 2012-06-04 Date
eight 2012-06-04 Date
nine 2012-06-04 Date
four 2012-06-04 Date
six 2012-06-04 Date
五四+一个月 May Fourth + one month 2012-05-04 Date
玖捌 nine eight 2012-05-04 Date
bajiu bajiu 2011-10-27 Date
liusi liusi 2011-10-27 Date
liu四 liu four 2011-10-27 Date
八玖 eight nine 2011-10-27 Date
刘四 Liu four 2011-10-27 Date
捌九 eight nine 2011-10-27 Date
一九八四 nineteen eighty-nine 2011-10-18 Date
1989 1989 2011-06-04 Date
8964 8964 2011-06-04 Date
5月35日 May 35th 2011-06-04 Date
8x8 8x8 2011-06-04 Date
八九 eight nine 2011-06-04 Date
六四 six four 2011-06-04 Date
六肆 six four 2011-04-16 Date
陆肆 six four 2011-04-16 Date
64事件 64 incident 2011-04-16 Date
64学潮 64 student strike 2011-04-16 Date
64学运 64 student movement 2011-04-16 Date
64运动 64 movement 2011-04-16 Date
六四事件 Six-Four Incident 2011-04-16 Date
六四学潮 Six-Four student strike 2011-04-16 Date
六四运动 June Fourth Movement 2011-04-16 Date
六四学运 Six-Four student movement 2011-04-16 Date
89+动乱 89+unrest 2014-05-22 Event
89事件 89 incident 2011-04-16 Event
89学潮 89 student strike 2011-04-16 Event
89学运 89 student movement 2011-04-16 Event
89民运 89 people's movement 2011-04-16 Event
89运动 89 movement 2011-04-16 Event
八九学潮 Eighty-Nine campus strike 2011-04-16 Event
八九学运 Eighty-Nine student movement 2011-04-16 Event
八九民运 Eighty-Nine democracy movement 2011-04-16 Event
八九运动 Eighty-Nine movement 2011-04-16 Event
天下围城 empire beseiges the city 2014-05-22 Gov. action
crush 2012-06-04 Gov. action
屠杀 massacre 2011-11-02 Gov. action
镇压 supress 2011-06-04 Gov. action
戒严 impose martial law 2011-04-16 Gov. action
学生+1989 student + 1989 2015-08-28 Organization
改革派 reformist 2013-04-16 Organization
三角政治联盟 triangle political alliance 2012-06-04 Organization
北高联 Capital Autonomous Federation of University Students 2012-01-09 Organization
高自联 Capital Autonomous Federation of University Students 2012-01-09 Organization
黄雀行动 Operation Yellowbird 2012-01-09 Organization
学联 student federation 2011-12-06 Organization
天安门母亲 Tiananmen Mothers 2011-06-04 Organization
学运 student movement 2011-06-04 Organization
天安门母亲运动 Tiananmen Mothers movement 2011-04-16 Organization
Jonathan Mirsky+网站 Jonathan Mirsky+website 2014-05-27 Misc.
全民倒共 all the people topple communism 2014-05-22 Misc.
马云+64 Jack Ma+64 2013-07-20 Misc.
马云+89 Jack Ma+89 2013-07-20 Misc.
马云+八九 Jack Ma+Eight Nine 2013-07-20 Misc.
马云+六四 Jack Ma+Six Four 2013-07-20 Misc.
不适宜对外公开 inappropriate for the public 2013-06-04 Misc.
敏感词 sensitive word 2013-06-04 Misc.
烛光 candlelight 2013-06-04 Misc.
网络封锁 Internet block 2013-06-04 Misc.
蜡烛 candle 2013-06-03 Misc.
主义 -ism 2012-06-04 Misc.
小秘书 Little Secretary 2012-06-04 Misc.
推特 Twitter 2012-06-04 Misc.
government 2012-06-04 Misc.
People 2012-06-04 Misc.
fire 2012-06-04 Misc.
candle 2012-06-04 Misc.
自治 autonomous 2012-06-04 Misc.
blood 2012-06-04 Misc.
黑衣 black clothes 2012-06-04 Misc.
学生领袖 student leader 2011-06-04 Misc.
祖国母亲 mothers of the motherland 2011-06-04 Misc.
广场上的热血 hot blood on the square 2011-04-16 Misc.
广场上的血 blood on the square 2011-04-16 Misc.
tank man tank man 2014-06-04 Object
tank tank 2013-06-04 Object
tǎn (tank) 2012-06-04 Object
民主女神 Goddess of Democracy 2011-10-05 Object
坦克 tank 2011-06-04 Object
Wu er kai xi Wu'erkaixi 2015-08-06 People
习近平+坦克 Xi Jinping + tank 2015-08-06 People
习近平+言而无信 Xi Jinping + go back on one's word 2015-06-04 People
邓小平+坦克 Deng Xiaoping + tank 2014-08-15 People
周锋锁 Zhou Fengsuo 2014-06-20 People
周封锁 Zhou Fengsuo 2014-06-20 People
邓屠夫 Butcher Deng 2014-06-04 People
习+影帝 Xi+movie star 2013-06-04 People
蟹农场 Hexie Farm 2013-06-04 People
张先玲 Zhang Xianling 2013-06-03 People
艾晓明 Ai Xiaoming 2013-06-03 People
司徒华 Szeto Wah 2013-05-28 People
鲍朴 Bao Pu 2013-05-25 People
耀邦 (Hu) Yaobang 2013-04-16 People
胡总书记 Secretary-General Hu (Yaobang) 2013-04-16 People
胡赵 Hu Zhao 2013-04-16 People
严家其 Yan Jiaqi 2012-06-04 People
北岛 Bei Dao 2012-06-04 People
国家安全沙皇 national security czar 2012-06-04 People
翟伟民 Zhai Weimin 2012-06-04 People
袁木 Yuan Mu 2012-06-04 People
邓力群 Deng Liqun 2012-06-04 People
陈子明 Chen Ziming 2012-06-04 People
韩东方 Han Dongfang 2012-06-04 People
励之 (Fang) Lizhi 2012-04-09 People
方lizhi Fang lizhi 2012-04-09 People
方校长 [University] President Fang 2012-04-09 People
li长春 li Changchun 2012-03-26 People
封从德 Feng Congde 2012-03-26 People
月月鸟 Moon Moon Bird [Li] (Peng) 2012-03-12 People
lichangchun lichangchun 2012-01-05 People
乌尔 Wu'er (Wu'erkaixi) 2011-12-06 People
方励之 Fang Lizhi 2011-10-27 People
丁子霖 Ding Zilin 2011-06-04 People
坦克人 Tank Man 2011-06-04 People
江泽民 Jiang Zemin 2011-06-04 People
胡耀邦 Hu Yaobang 2011-06-04 People
吾尔开希 Wu'erkaixi 2011-04-16 People
李鹏 Li Peng 2011-04-16 People
柴玲 Chai Ling 2011-04-16 People
王丹 Wang Dan 2011-04-16 People
紫阳 (Zhao) Ziyang 2011-04-16 People
赵总理 Prime Minister Zhao 2011-04-16 People
赵紫阳 Zhao Ziyang 2011-04-16 People
魏京生 Wei Jingsheng 2011-04-16 People
占占点 [tanks rolling over person] 2014-06-04 Pictographic
占点占 [tanks rolling over person] 2014-06-04 Pictographic
占占人 [tanks pointed at person] 2012-06-04 Pictographic
北京+暴力恐怖 Beijing + violence and terror 2016-03-16 Places
天安门+举牌 Tiananmen + hold up a sign 2015-03-13 Places
天an门 Tiananmen 2014-05-22 Places
TAM TAM 2013-06-03 Places
tiananmen tiananmen 2013-06-03 Places
广场 public square 2013-06-03 Places
金水桥 Jinshuiqiao 2013-06-03 Places
长安街 Changan Avenue 2013-06-03 Places
维园+晚会 Victoria Park+evening Event 2013-05-28 Places
公主坟 Gongzhufen 2012-06-04 Places
公园 (Victoria) park 2012-06-04 Places
北京屠城 massacre of Beijing 2012-06-04 Places
木樨地 Muxidi 2012-06-04 Places
维园 Victoria Park 2012-06-04 Places
京城+戒严 capital + impose martial law 2012-03-26 Places
北京+戒严 Beijing + impose martial law 2012-03-26 Places
square square 2012-01-05 Places
天安门 Tiananmen 2011-06-04 Places
上证 Shanghai Composite 2012-06-04 Stock market
下跌 fall [of price] 2012-06-04 Stock market
指数 index 2012-06-04 Stock market
收盘 closing quotation [in stock market] 2012-06-04 Stock market
股市 Stock market 2012-06-04 Stock market